NEWARK, N.J., Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) and Newark Public Schools today dedicated four large solar systems at Newark public schools. The systems are part of PSE&G's Solar 4 All™ program, which will bring 80 megawatts (MWs) of solar capacity to New Jersey by 2013. The utility and the school system are also teaming up to create a Green Energy Education Program that will help prepare Newark high school students for careers in the green energy field.
"As a Newark-based company, we are very pleased to partner with Newark Public Schools on this innovative project that provides value for our customers, revenue for the school district and educational opportunities for its students," said Ralph LaRossa, PSE&G president and chief operating officer. "This project is an example of how solar power can provide much more than just clean energy – it can help bring about a better future for our young people, our communities, and our state's economy."
The four solar systems will have a total capacity of 2.6 megawatts (MW), enough to power about 400 average-sized homes. Installations are complete at Barringer High School, Central High School and Park Elementary School. Those systems are already supplying electricity to the power grid. The systems at Camden Middle School and Camden Elementary School will be operational by the end of this year. Roof-top systems have been installed at all the schools, while the Camden Elementary, Camden Middle and Park Elementary will also have solar panels installed over the parking lot. Through the partnership, PSE&G retains ownership of the solar systems and provides Newark Public Schools with lease payments for the space occupied.
PSE&G's partnership with Newark educators includes creating a Green Energy Education Program that will serve high school students. This educational program will provide students with an understanding of the evolving technologies that drive renewable energy and will prepare them for jobs in the developing clean energy economy. The program's first classes are expected to begin in 2011. Beginning in 2012, the program will include summer clean energy jobs and other career development opportunities for high school juniors and seniors.
"We look forward to working with PSE&G on the Solar 4 All Program," said State District Superintendent Dr. Clifford B. Janey. "This partnership is aligned with our district's Strategic Plan which emphasizes employability for our students upon graduation as well as advancement toward higher education in the fields of sustainability. Clearly, the green job market has great potential for these opportunities. We commend PSE&G for the vision to provide these valuable resources for our students and the surrounding communities."
The 80 MW Solar 4 All program allows PSE&G to install, own and operate 5 megawatts of solar on any public or private third-party host site located in Urban Enterprise Zones (UEZ) in the utility's electric service territory. PSE&G will own and operate the Newark Schools solar systems and PSE&G will utilize the energy produced, the tax credits realized under federal rules and the value of the Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) generated by the solar systems to offset the cost of the program.
"Our Solar 4 All program benefits all PSE&G electric customers in Newark and beyond," LaRossa said. "We're unlocking the power of solar energy for our customers by connecting these solar systems directly into the power grid. And we're using the economic benefits that all of this solar capacity generates to help offset the overall cost of the program."
The Newark Public Schools District is the largest and one of the oldest school systems in New Jersey. The district serves approximately 40,000 students in 75 schools ranging from Pre-K to twelfth grade, and employs approximately 7,000 staff within the schools and Central Office. The Newark Public Schools District has four schools that have won the No Child Left Behind National Blue Ribbon distinction – Science Park High School, Ann Street Elementary, Branch Brook Elementary, and Harriet Tubman Elementary schools.
Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) is New Jersey's oldest and largest regulated gas and electric delivery utility, serving nearly three-quarters of the state's population. PSE&G is the winner of the ReliabilityOne Award for superior electric system reliability. PSE&G is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (PSEG) (NYSE: PEG), a diversified energy company (www.pseg.com).
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SOURCE Public Service Electric & Gas Company (PSE&G)